Tales from the Cultural Wilderness - Journal

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2005-02-18 Entry: "Crusade - Technomage Subterfuge"

After yesterday's looooooooong viewing of Asoka (a hindi film about a great emperor / religious leader), I decided I'd better get back to Crusade tonight. I may say more about Asoka in an entry tomorrow...

So here we are with episode 2, "The Long Road",and we have a farming colony - Regula 4 - being terrorised by what looks suspiciously like a dragon. When they call for help, the Excalibur gets sent in... Of course, Captain Gideon is having problems with his basketball hoop - it's apparently defective...

Galen seems interested to find out what colour the dragon is, and invites himself along.

It seems that there's a mineral on the planet that prolongs life, so Earthforce have been strip-mining the planet. However, they've started suffering from a bunch of pranks - like stealing a starship, returning it two days later, but with the engines replaced with peanut butter.

Gideon and Galen go down to the planet on their own, at Galen's prompting. Matthew attempts to blend in, but tries to pay for drinks with enough money to buy the inn. Then, once the bar empties, a bunch of villagers come in and threaten the pair of them. Then Alwyn arrives - an older gentleman who apparently employs a whole bunch of people... and once he's got rid of the villagers, greets Galen warmly, as a fellow Technomage.

Things go bad when the villagers take a bunch of Earthforce miners hostage, and demand they leave the planet. Earthforce obviously send in the troops, but the guy in command is a little inexperienced. He does manage to see through the dragon... deciding it must be a hologram and therefore they can fly through it. Then they confront a bunch of the villagers in the inn.

Alwyn and Galen come in to deal with the troops, and their completely dead-pan conversation while Alwyn's holo-demons demolish the troops is great... and once they have them in custody, they want to release them and the original hostages, but the innkeeper doesn't want to give them up.

But the innkeeper's daughter has fallen sick - due to the mining she's suffering an overdose of the mineral. Gideon tries to stop the Captain of the cruiser that's running the mining operation, but he won't listen. Alwyn can't get the villagers to listen.

So they move to plan B. Alwyn goes into the mine, and uses it for a major conjuration which could shoot down the Earthforce cruiser (The Medusa). The cruiser has no way to destroy the target in time, so they order Gideon to do it - destroying the whole mining operation and apparently killing Alwyn.

Of course, Alwyn survives the minor explosion, but he's got to move on to allow the villagers to grow, and learn from their own mistakes.

And onwards we go to episode 3, the "Galen is a bit crazy isn't he" episode... really called "The Well Of Forever." So we have Psi-Corps... sorry, The Bureau Of Telepath Integration sending Mr. Jones to question Matheson to make sure he hasn't been breaking the rules. Apparently they're all called Mr. Jones... and we get some background - the Earth senate dissolved the Psi-Corps and reintegrated telepaths back into their communities, but the Bureau was set up to make sure there were no accidental scans of mundanes.

Galen turns up to suggest they go looking for a Technomage legend hidden in Hyperspace - the titular Well of Forever - he has a glowing rock that will give them the co-ordinates! Dureena has reservations, and so does Gideon considering it's extremely deep in Hyperspace. But they go anyway.

Mr. Jones goes too far with his scans of Matheson, digging out work related information. Galen has an interesting conversation with Dureena (who's redecorated her quarters to make them small enough for her comfort). Then they encounter the Fen - a barely sentient species that drifts through Hyperspace and tries to mate with the ship.

They get to the coordinates, but there's nothing there. Then Galen mutinies and won't turn control of the ship back over to Gideon until they find the Well. There's a lot that appears to have happened between Galen and the crew of the Excalibur before this episode that hasn't been shown - was that due to the network screwing up the continuity or was it just left unsaid?

Anyway, Galen apparently has a promise that he must keep, no matter what.

Mr. Jones wants to hold Matheson to a higher standard than other telepaths because he's doing such a good job of a career in Earthforce.

Gideon suggests Matheson take a walk outside, but of course Hyperspace amplifies a telepaths abilities, so it'd be a really bad idea.

And then they find the Well... Galen goes off to do whatever it is he needs to do, and Matthew follows him. Eilerson's scan of the Well finds it's full of precious metals and gems and stuff, but Dureena realises that it's actually a mausoleum and the precious metals are grave goods.

Galen was apparently in love with a Technomage named Isabel, who spent her life searching for the Well. When she died, Galen took her remains and vowed to one day find the Well and allow her to rest there.

Matthew uses Dureena to set up Mr. Jones - she can be extremely single minded when she needs to be! And Matheson gets his Hyperspace-walk. Oh, and Galen makes a very silly vow - he will never again betray Gideon's trust. I believe the source of the Technomages powers may break that vow when Gideon finally finds out... fortunately for Galen, the show was cancelled before he found that out.

And then Dureena... and her confrontation with Galen over whether the Well really was an open book for those who would listen - an answer to their questions...

Eilerson's question of "Is there anything in the universe I cannot have?" was plainly answered.

Matheson needed to go to the well with Gideon to get his answer.

Matthew got his answer, but wasn't listening for it, so will have to look elsewhere.

Dureena finds out that for one person it isn't always about money or power - in this case it was about love.

And for Galen? His question of why may take a little longer...

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